Kentucky’s second-largest city is older the United States.
And in 2025, Lexington is planning a blowout year of celebrations for its 250th birthday.
On Tuesday, Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton unveiled a new 23-member 250Lex Commission to help fundraise and oversee the city’s 250th anniversary celebrations.
One of the first steps of the commission is to unveil a 250th birthday branding competition. Residents are encouraged to submit design ideas for logos for the official 250Lex brand. In addition, the group is already asking the public to submit ideas for possible birthday celebrations.
“We are planning a year-long party celebrating all things Lexington,” Gorton said at a special celebration on the steps of the former Fayette County courthouse on Main Street Tuesday night. “Thanks to the work of this commission and with the input from our residents, 2025 will be a year full of events and programs celebrating our rich history. It will take time to organize, but this group will do a great job in making sure our residents and visitors have opportunities to learn and discover all that has made, and still makes, Lexington a great city.”
The group also wants to make the month of June 2025, which is when Lexington got its name, a homecoming month.
“We’re calling it ‘Come Home’ month,” Gorton said. “We’re inviting anyone who has lived here, has family here or would like to see all we have to offer to travel here for a month-long cultural experience.”
The commission is co-chaired by Eunice Beatty and Kip Cornett.
Beatty said they want to make sure the year-long celebrations are welcoming to everyone.
Beatty said the commission will meet soon to determine a fundraising goal for more than 12 months of celebrations.
“We are looking at big numbers,” Beatty said of the fundraising goal. The group wants corporate sponsors similar to what Atlanta had during the 1996 U.S. Olympic games.
“We are ready to party in Lexington in 2025,” Beatty said. “We need Lexington voices for ideas. We need volunteers, partners and participation.”
Beatty said they want organizations to build Lexington’s 250th birthday into their annual events.
“As we plan over the next 15 months, let’s showcase what makes Lexington great and look for new ways to improve our city for the future,” Beatty said.
Lexington was founded in 1775, one year before the signing of the Declaration of Independence, by William McConnell and other explorers who set up camp near a natural spring, which is now known as McConnell Springs. After hearing about the battle of Lexington and Concord — nearly a year later — McConnell and others named their new home Lexington.
To participate in the design competition or to submit ideas for possible celebrations send emails to 250Lex@lexingtonky.gov or go to www.250lex.com.